WASHINGTON — An impassioned speech from Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., nearly caused an early-morning fistfight to break out between two other House lawmakers during the debate over Pennsylvania’s electoral vote.
Lamb said that the GOP objectors to Biden’s win didn’t need to “strip this Congress of its dignity” any more after pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol on Wednesday.
“We know that that attack today, it didn’t materialize out of nowhere, it was inspired by lies — the same lies that you’re hearing in this room tonight,” Lamb said. “The members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves, their constituents should be ashamed of them.”
Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., took exception to Lamb’s words. Moments later, Griffith raised a point of order and attempted to have the congressman’s words struck from the record.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refused, citing Griffith’s request as “not timely.”
“The truth hurts,” Lamb said to his detractors. “It hurts them. It hurts this country. It hurts all of us.”
Then, as Lamb continued to talk, a scrum broke out between Reps. Andy Harris, R-Md., and Colin Allred, D-Tex., who yelled at each other from across the House floor to sit down.
“Sit down!” one of them yelled. The other replied, “No, you sit down!”
The two then met in the aisle, which caused about a dozen lawmakers to clear their benches to intervene, reported CNN’s Kristin Wilson.
Pelosi banged her gavel, demanding “there’ll be order in the House.”
No punches were thrown. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., was also involved.
Once cooler heads prevailed, Rep. Roger Williams, R-Tex., defended his colleagues against Lamb’s sentiment that GOP objectors should be ashamed of their actions.
“I’m not ashamed and neither are my colleagues,” Williams said. “We’re actually proud of what we’re doing over here.”
Tensions were boiling following an angry mob that breached the Capitol on Wednesday, touting false claims that the presidential election was stolen as Congress officially counted electoral votes.
Critics lambasted President Donald Trump’s response to the event and blamed him for igniting flames that led to Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol.
In the president’s statement to the rioters, he continued spouting false claims about the so-called rigged nature of his defeat as he told rioters to “go home in peace.”
“Go home. We love you,” he told the revelers. “You’re very special.”
Members of Congress were able to return to their chambers to continue the process that would formally elect Joe Biden the next president.
James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Wednesday night that the mob wouldn’t deter the process of counting electoral votes.
“This authoritarian menace will not succeed in his attempts to overthrow our democratically elected government,” he said.